Despite the Lakers saying that they’ve taken Pau Gasol off the trade block, the rumors surrounding him have not stopped. This time around, the International Business Times believes that the Lakers could be interested in moving Gasol for Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin, or both.
Asik and Lin have near identical contracts, with both earning upwards of $14 million in the last year, 2014-15, but Lin could prove harder to move considering his injury and inconsistent play since he arrived in Houston last season.
Two teams that have been rumored for a trade and in need of a point guard are the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls, with injury riddled L.A. holding as many as 12 expiring contracts, and the Bulls figuring out their future with Derrick Rose likely sidelined for a full season once again.
At this point, there is no substance behind these rumors as they don’t make much sense for either side. The Rockets are looking to compete now while also setting themselves up to acquire assets in the future. Houston has been actively shopping Asik, but they’ve found it hard to move the big man because of their steep asking price — two first round picks — a price the Lakers cannot, and would not afford.
Wile Pau Gasol’s $19 million expiring contract could potentially be something that the Rockets could covet, it would be a redundant, lateral move for the team, especially considering that the Gasol and Dwight Howard had minimal success playing together last season with the Lakers.
For the Lakers, it wouldn’t make sense to handcuff their immediate future with two guys who will cost the Lakers a combined $16.7 million against the salary cap next season (and around $28 million total), which would completely go against the plan of financial flexibility for the summer of 2014 that the team had been preaching since Dwight Howard left for Houston this summer.
The rumors surrounding the Lakers and Rockets should be taken with a grain of salt as neither team can offer the other what each team is trying to accomplish. The Rockets have also been rumored to be in trade talks with both the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls.
It’s hard to say that any of this will ever materialize into something substantial, but it would come as a complete shock if something actually came out of these rumors.
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